Mulaney: It’s My Special, And I Must Protect It

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Episode recaps
Courtesy of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Young Mulaney auditions for the part of ‘Kevin’ for an unspecified part. Considering Christmas is 4 days away, I’ve got a good guess as to what the part is. Back at the apartment, Jane and Motif share who they bought presents for, but one name is obviously missing, John’s. While they ignore John’s subtle hint as to what they could get him, Motif notices Home Alone is on. A sore subject for John as the Kevin he auditioned for was Kevin McCallister in Home Alone. A part he didn’t get.

Lou is worried about the host of ABC’s Christmas Special. A host named Jesse Tyler Munoz, played by the talented Nick Kroll of the Nick Kroll Show and The League fame. John takes a look at the bookings for Lou’s Christmas Special. Including securing the rights to perform a certain Christmas song. The joke here is that they couldn’t get “Baby It’s Cold Outside” so they opted for a lesser know ‘rapey’ holiday tune. And finally, that they will have a cameo from Macauly Culkin, the star of Home Alone.

Andre shows up in the middle of John’s ‘Mac’s Back’ meltdown. Andre is complaining that his mother always dresses him in strange clothing in the winter. John mentions that Lou’s show is hiring extras. A nice way to make some extra cash. You know, to use to buy your friends gifts. This has become a running gag in the episode. John’s hard to buy for. So whenever he brings it up, Jane and Motif pretend to be preoccupied.

On the set of You Guessed It when Macauly Culkin is announced. Even Lou is gushing over the appearance. Then Andre shows up in his stupid canary yellow down jacket and absurd rainbow-colored that with ears looking for where the ‘extras’ go. The person he’s addressed is stand up and sitcom fast riser Ron Funches. Ron Funches plays a character who is a ‘Zoggle’, or a puppet alternative to the Muppets. He believes that Andre’s face and hat are a mask. So Andre plays along.

Munoz (Nick Kroll) is hiding on Lou’s set when he hears Mulaney say, “I hate this special”. Munoz has a much thicker Spanish accent than he uses on his show. I get the impression Mr. Kroll will be channeling more of Kroll Show than his character on The League. Which will be awesome.

After rehearsal, Andre decides to take a snooze. One of the crew mistake him for one of these Zoggles and packs him away for the next day, like he was a stuffed animal. Next we see a group of very large costumes resembling various animals dancing in a circle with Andre in the middle in his bright street clothes. Then Motif and Jane drop by the set. Which is nice for John, until Jane asks if he could get Mac to sign her Home Alone poster.

Lou comes around the corner furious about Munoz’ presence on his set the day before. They decide to rehearse without Culkin just in case Munoz comes back. Convenient way to play it if you don’t actually have Macauley Culkin or plan to reveal him in the last moments. Lou wants John to be Culkin’s stand in. Which is a few seconds before John snaps and walks out. As he storms he proclaims that he was supposed to have Culkins life. Then Motif gets an idea.

John enters his apartment to find grey sheets covering everything. Bottles of booze on one piece of furniture and a Victrola playing old music on another. Motif walks out playing a character of himself as a bum. John sees right through it immediately. They are trying to place John in the George Bailey “I wish I was never born” scenario from It’s A Wonderful Life. Jane comes in playing the old lady whose blind, then not blind. John sees this as a rouse and tries to poke holes in their story. John tries to leave but Oscar’s on the other side of the door exposing his flash from his new camera pretending to be the paparazzi. The funny part is that Oscar is not playing along with the It’s A Wonderful Life rouse.

John returns to find someone left the audition tape from Home Alone in a gift bag hanging from the door handle. He decides to relive the glory days only to find out his audition was putrid. He stops the tape to find that Munoz has stolen their entire guest list.

John: Munoz stole Lou’s special. I got so caught up in my imaginary rivalry with Macauley that I let my guard down. I have to get that lineup back. Enough of this Home Alone stuff. This is my special. I have to protect it.

What happens next is a lovely parody of John trying to infiltrate the Celebrity Moves set (the show that Munoz hosts) and getting the Home Alone treatment as if he were Joe Pesci or Daniel Stern and not Culkin. Tarred and feathered and hit with a flying by a string paint bucket. Munoz comes in to claim that anyone tries to confront him on Christmas and they get “Home Alone’d”. John hasn’t ever even seen the movie, adding to the humor of the bit.

Munoz informs Mulaney he is too late, as Munoz has secured the rights to Lou’s rapey Snowman song and has the Zoggles under contract. “A contract with the Zoggles doesn’t cover non-Zoggles” and Mulaney calls to Andre, who runs to him like a toddler. This is upsetting to Munoz who thought the “Nerdy Dog” was the best one.

Mulaney saves the day at the last second by bringing Andre as ‘New York’s Greatest Puppet’, Oscar as the composer of ‘Santa ain’t leavin’ til he gets your cookies’ and agrees to stand in for Macauley Culkin in a wig.

At home John thanks Jane and Motif for the It’s A Wonderful Life treatment and giving him the audition tape to show him how bad it was and to reaffirm that his life is the life he should have. Then Motif admits that they did not such thing. Oscar admits that he got John a Seltzer machine because he loves seltzer. Then there is a recurring joke going back to Philipino Santa.

John: Does that mean Philipino Santa is the real Santa…?

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